Author Topic: The Black Dog - mental health awareness  (Read 4918 times)

Offline Paul Greenfield

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2021, 12:49:51 pm »
There are some wonderful people posting on this thread - Thank you.
But please beware with some of your advice.
I have had mental health issues for many years.
The perceived wisdom is always to `tell people what you are suffering.`
In my experience this can often backfire and the subsequent rejection only adds to the depression.
Determination, keeping busy and showing a positive face; has worked so far.
The real problem with lockdown has been a lack of opportunities to keep occupied, which can lead to a serious downhill spiral.
Reading all these comments really helps.

Online mikem

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2021, 01:03:29 pm »
What works for one won't work for others, but knowing there are options may help - sometimes the rejection is because they are fighting their own demons & other times they just don't know how to deal with yours.

Offline kay

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2021, 01:07:36 pm »
Can anyone relate to near constant suicidal thoughts?

Not constant. But for long periods it has been the first thing in my mind when I wake. If you haven't already, I'd advise you to speak to your GP. Don't dismiss antidepressants out of hand - they can lift your mood enough for you to be able to start the climb out of the hole.

I keep telling yourself that what I am feeling is my depression talking. It's not real life. I find recognising that helps a lot. Difficult though, because I feel I am seeing things clearly and objectively - it's only when I talk to friends that I find my view of the world is a distorted one, and then when a gloomy thought intrudes I can push it aside.

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2021, 02:08:57 pm »
Ari - thanks for the clarity - and the honesty. I agree that treating this as a temporary situation from the outset is key - management of these issues with medication has come on a long way, and it's clear that the system has improved since the experiences of people I knew. Also as branded meds come off patent it gets a lot clearer to see the problem without the obvious conflicts of interest that can arise where costs far outweigh prescription charges, as they did with Prozac initially.

I remember a friend of mine who worked in a psychiatric unit in the mid-90s telling me (then) that there were around 50,000 adults on Prozac prescriptions in Sheffield, on a minimum six-week course, at a cost of £1.08 per capsule per day, so a minimum per person of £45.36 - times 50,000. Obviously no-one ever did a minimum of six weeks, and it was usually measured in years, with often no way off, if the symptoms were likely to return (or were perceived to be likely to return, either by the patient or their GP). Once it became generic, obviously there's a huge saving - but then it obviously becomes a cheap solution too, so not necessarily easier to withdraw treatment if it's in the paracetamol price range.

So I think the key factor is the patient's intent, and a willingness to see this as a way out of the problem, rather than the way forward with the problem ;)

Offline Brains

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2021, 02:10:00 pm »
I can relate to most of the thoughts on this thread, and have experienced the really negative downsides in the past and with loved ones.
Suicide in my opinion (and others?) doesnt make the misery end - it shares out amongst everyone you know, the closer they are, the more they get... There are so many things you havent seen or done yet - caves, climbs, beers, steaks, swims... whatever!
GP's are a good first contact for professional help, but bear in mind treatments can take a long time to kick in, and medications may need tailoring to you. 28 days may not even scratch the surface. 3 months is typical for a proper clinical effect to take hold, and coming off should be done under advice as well - not a sudden cessation but a gradual weening off.

Specifically for those with an immediate urge to harm themselves, try a cold thermal shock - stand in a bowl of cold water, hands under the cold tap, stand outside in a T shirt in winter until you are chilled. I dont know why but this seems to reset your mood for a while. Getting outside - walking, cycling, whatever, also helps...

Reaching out here can be of benefit as many use pseudonyms, so a negative feedback in the real world is not possible.

Online mikem

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2021, 02:50:56 pm »
Although you may be surprised to find out how many people do care / know who's who...

Offline Brains

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2021, 03:01:00 pm »
Although you may be surprised to find out how many people do care / know who's who...
Undoubtedly true  ;D

Offline menacer

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2021, 06:05:59 pm »
It's been a great year for all the Covid Nazis brow beating and berating those of us that aren't built to be locked down
 
After 6 months of relentless state and peer propoganda telling me I'm a hateful character that's killing granny ( despite killing no one)
I've found the best thing for my mental health was to unplug from social media, unplug from the msm.
Even these forums are a haven for keyboard Nazis
The type of people who claim to be caring and compassionate folk, right up until the point you have a different opinion to them

Ive only seen this thread because Chris told me about it.
One of our dear, like minded friends has posted.

Well I'm posting in support bud.

This is a shit show.
Unplug, do you're own thing..
Don't give a damn about the keyboard warriors of the world.
If you can work safely then you can live your life safely and I frankly don't give a damn what any one else says.
Don't post on social media, don't let any one know what you're doing, just do it.

The ones dismayed about what is happening in this once free and beautiful country are the sane ones.

In this together, my arse.   :ras:

« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 09:32:30 am by Badlad, Reason: One abusive line removed by multiple requests »
Chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is done.

Offline Wolfo

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2021, 08:37:53 pm »
Well, I don't know about depression,
but if you take the "black dog" not too metaphoric...

As a caver from the autistic side (AS) of human genetic production error I know well about being "the weirdo".
Sadly it's not about knowing entire books by heart or whatelse some TV-series may suggest about autism, it's more about beeing pretty solid in fucking up a lot of human interaction (constantly annoying people, don't get emotions right etc. pp.).
Got me many years to understand that I never will get good in this, so focussed more on stuff I'm good in. It works.
Better a useful bugger than just a bugger.
Also people get more tolerable on their normal-o-meter (or o-yard, for the fans of imperial units) if you have some same interests and skills.
From my experience the caving community is pretty open and friendly to people on the more eccentric side - but I guess you need to be yourself a bit of mad to find fun in crawing through tight, wet and cold squeezes.  ;)

About being open about stuff like this. I could not recommend from my experience.
Better be an idiot than an fucked up idiot.
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Offline JAA

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2021, 10:23:10 pm »
Quote
Can anyone relate to near constant suicidal thoughts?

I haven’t read the whole thread but yes very much so.

Not particularly Covid related but the isolation has certainly emphasised the pre existing loneliness and the realisation that realistically I count for nothing at all to the only people I ever wanted to mean something.

A cocktail of antidepressants, SAD lamp thing, counselling, and yet I still wake up in tears each morning, put on a brave face for my watch again work, laugh and joke, then get home, look at photographs of just this summer when I was happy, and wonder how long I can keep this act up for.

So anyone else feeling similar has my sympathy. It’s a fight with a mind that wants to kill you until one day you give up because it doesn’t really matter anymore.

Cheery little monkey aren’t I!  ;D

For the “I’ll do whatever I want/civil liberties flag wavers, I’ve done this whole pandemic in the emergency services. I’ve moved bodies of covid patients, seen the mortuaries, and broken colleagues. I’d say to you, you are not the only
Ones struggling, but lots of people have it much worse than not being able to go caving. So if that’s your biggest worry, you can politely get a f**king grip.  :) X

Offline SamT

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2021, 09:18:36 am »

(Can we just make sure we keep this very important thread on track please and not de-rail it with rants about lockdowns, vaccines, politics etc etc - thanks  :hug: )


Offline PeteHall

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2021, 10:36:13 am »
lots of people have it much worse than not being able to go caving. So if that’s your biggest worry, you can politely get a f**king grip.  :) X

For many (myself included), not being able to go caving is definitely not the biggest problem, however being able to go caving is the medication required to cope with everything else that's going on.

A friend got in touch after a post I made earlier in this thread. We went caving last night and the positive change that has had for both of us is huge. For me, it was a much needed top-up of medication. For my friend who hasn't been caving since the first lockdown, it seems to have completely reversed a serious downhill spiral. I really hope that this positive impact lasts.

Sorry if this is a bit of a cliché, but what we all need to remember is that while we are all in the same storm, we are all in different boats. None of us really know what's going on in anyone else's boat or what they need to do to keep it afloat. A bit of compassion and understanding on all sides would go a long way. What works for you might not work for someone else.  :kiss2:

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2021, 11:17:41 am »
I live alone. The only person I have touched since the outbreak is my elderly mother. When out of lockdown I can visit her provided I have kept away from people for 14 days.  Honesty counts because I couldn’t live myself if I took the virus into the housing complex and killed other peoples grannies.  I am then allowed to enter the sheltered complex and  wash, clean, cut hair and generally look after her broken heart.  Other times I can’t see her. 
I walk socially distanced with one other person.  I mentioned that I hadn’t touched anyone for 9 months to her and suddenly I broke down. I’ve had enough of the blumming thing.  We all have. I know other people,s  situations are worse.
As a covid nazi I still think that the best way out is to lockdown hard. I feel it’s the quickest way back to normality.  I’ve got used to name calling. My dad would spin in his grave if he thought I was a Nazi.
As I have always said, caving is a great release.  All Outdoor activities are.  Please do it safely within a tight bubble.

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2021, 12:41:16 pm »
I managed a masked-up, one-armed, two-second hug with my favourite person on a railway platform in the countryside a month ago, and that was my first touch of anyone in months - even then she insisted on doing it out-of-view of the train still standing there, in case any of the passengers saw us. Jealous! That kept me going for about a fortnight, but I could do with another one now. I see so few people I know I'm safe, but it's not like I can print up my own vaccine passport :(

Online mikem

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2021, 08:29:34 pm »
For anyone who's also a member of BMC:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-mental-health-webinars-2021

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #65 on: February 01, 2021, 11:09:22 pm »
Some common sense from our German friends.  Metaphors can apply to all sorts of professions and outlooks.  Don't need long hair and a penchant for things go to 11 for the principles to apply.  Weird thing is I'm also eating less (as others in the videos) since we've been shut away as there's less to do.




Offline thehungrytroglobite

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2021, 07:53:18 pm »
Thank you for this thread! (Only just seen it now) While everyone's experiences are different, it is lovely to see such open discourse about mental health.

I suffer from a mental illness characterised by emotional dysregulation and an intense fear of abandonment. People with emotional dysregulation experience emotions at much higher intensities than people without it and it takes them longer to 'regulate' (ie. calm down) their emotions when in distress. This is primarily due to the impact of early traumatic experiences that affect the brain whilst it is developing. This means that in situations where most people would feel happiness, I feel intense euphoria; where most people would feel sad, I feel deep depression etc. I can wake up feeling on top of the world and head over heels in love with everyone & everything, and a couple hours later feel like there is no point in living anymore. My fear of abandonment & rejection sensitivity makes things doubly painful - someone not replying to me can make my heart feel like it is shattering into a million pieces, or a shift in someone's tone of voice can send me into a full-blown panic attack. I have, on many occasions, collapsed in the middle of the street screaming into the pavement - NOT because I am simply 'overreacting' but because the pain that I am capable of feeling is so intense it feels like physical pain sometimes. All of this of course has the potential to impact every area of my life in problematic ways, and sometimes I wonder if I will ever be capable of maintaining a stable human relationship/connection or if I should just go live in a cave and be a hermit for the rest of my life (doesn't sound like a bad option tbh).

There is a positive side to this though. While I do think this illness will make life difficult for the rest of my life, a year of DBT (which someone else already mentioned) really turned my life around. I would highly recommend researching DBT skills such as radical acceptance, opposite action, emotional validation etc. to anyone struggling with mental health. I can also see too that my illness has some benefits to it. Something as simple as a leaf falling off a tree can bring me intense peace and happiness. I feel like I experience the world more vividly because of this, and see the beauty in everything due to my 'emotional HD vision'. My passion for things makes me extremely motivated in the things I care about (like caving, lol) and when I'm excited about something the people around me respond as if it is infectious which makes social interactions and making friends very easy for me.

Two sides to every coin I guess. I'm glad I can see both sides of it!

Offline CavefestUK

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #67 on: February 05, 2021, 08:46:58 am »
I have just read a host of comments in this thread and its made me feel a whole lot better.
I have been away from the forum for a few months because my mental health took a downwards spiral. I have suffered from depression and anxiety related issues for nearly 25yrs, and thats only the diagnosed years.

Being a caver, and knowing how clicky the community can be, i was taken aback somewhat when i was told about this thread. About time we all opened up and shared something as serious as dealing with mental health.

I wont bore you with my story, (maybe another time) but its a comfort to see this thread open.

Offline CavefestUK

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #68 on: February 05, 2021, 09:59:22 am »
Can anyone relate to near constant suicidal thoughts?

Not constant. But for long periods it has been the first thing in my mind when I wake. If you haven't already, I'd advise you to speak to your GP. Don't dismiss antidepressants out of hand - they can lift your mood enough for you to be able to start the climb out of the hole.

I keep telling yourself that what I am feeling is my depression talking. It's not real life. I find recognising that helps a lot. Difficult though, because I feel I am seeing things clearly and objectively - it's only when I talk to friends that I find my view of the world is a distorted one, and then when a gloomy thought intrudes I can push it aside.

I am a sufferer of this problem. Its almost a joke now as I have learned to accept these thoughts are simply a part of my day.
Some days, they beat me down to a dribbling mess of emotion, and that's OK because it will pass. Other days it makes me feel strong and determined,  but they are rare.
Sharing with people helps sometimes,  but I have also learnt to be selective with who you share with.
I feel like I'm taking a massive risk sharing on the forum, but you also have to be brave and try to make changes that may help.

Offline royfellows

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2021, 11:28:13 am »
This is an interesting thread and I am surprised at the extent of this.
These kind of problems appear to my perception to becoming more prevalent
I am wondering if modern life has anything to do with it?

I grew up in the 1950s and 60s when life was a lot more simple and straightforward, if somewhat harsh.
Whatever piece of household goods, electrical or whatever, that you purchased it didn't really need any instructions, you could see how to use it just by looking at it.
Whatever you wanted to do, as long as it didn't affect anyone else, you just went ahead and did it.
Nowadays, everything that one wants to do seems to have hoops and hurdles attached to it.

Are we, as a society, engineering our own destruction?
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Offline sinker

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2021, 12:31:25 pm »
This is an interesting thread and I am surprised at the extent of this.

Whatever you wanted to do, as long as it didn't affect anyone else, you just went ahead and did it.
Nowadays, everything that one wants to do seems to have hoops and hurdles attached to it.

Are we, as a society, engineering our own destruction?

Engineering our own destruction? Ultimately yes probably.
Shorter term; are we engineering our own evolution? Or is it evolution engineering us? Is the tail wagging the dog? Discuss....

As the father of "early 20's" and "late teens" children/young people and having extensive expert knowledge of what its like (having been one myself  ;)) I would say that its a bloody miracle that they have turned out as well as they have, considering the pressure put on them from society, peers, 'soshul meeja' etc etc.
We have coached those lads in life and never taken our eye off the ball. Other parents have let go of the reins through divorce, lazyness, lack of time, lack of interest, lack of knowledge or lack of parenting skills. Those young people are now having a much tougher time of it and many are struggling with mental and emotional health issues. Will this spiral out of control over the generations and lead to our destruction? It will certainly lead to the world looking a very different place. But then according to my 87 year old mother, every generation says the same thing in the same way that every generation thinks they are the first to have discovered sex, drugs and music!

Wider mental health picture, as discussed above.....? It's talked about more, its more acceptable to discuss it, more "things" now have names so are easier to identify with. Would that be fair to say?
Who would have thought that I would be discussing this on ANY kind of forum before the internet was invented. What other forum was there? Pub? School? Church? Work?
Now who would have thought that we would be discussing this on a caving website?

Some people seem to be more resilient to things. I think that I am; my resilience has certainly been tested quite severely over the years starting with the death of a parent when I was 11 years old and there have been lots of other things over the years but so far at the age of 54 I feel bulletproof. Maybe its my turn next....?



Ah, well, now, you see...erm...

Offline Brains

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2021, 03:46:19 pm »
I am sure in the past there was a lot of under reporting of MH issues, with many things under a taboo.
The pioneering climber Menlove Edwards is perhaps notable as being known to be a sufferer, and from an older age Jayne Eyre reflects the social stigma and response to issues. If there was a suicide in the family it would be hushed up, the body consigned to un-consecrated ground. Domestic abuse, rape, unmarried mothers, alcoholism were all common in the past as now, but those that could comment on it always seemed to imply / reason it was down to being poor or of inferior class. We are now in more enlightened times (?) and real help is more available, prejudice is waning. Opening up is healthy

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2021, 05:23:25 pm »
I think in many ways forums like this can be helpful to those struggling, as almost by definition, you don't know most of the contributors in real life. So if you can get over the hurdle of actually bringing it up, it's possibly more useful discussing it with relative strangers than with good friends or family. They may already know and be unable to help, or already know and are already helping, or may not have a clue there's a problem at all, but may not react helpfully if they did know. Losing friends can be enough of a fear to not risk it, and so venting off on a 'common interest' site like this could be very helpful for some. Clearly the audience isn't hostile, and those who can't help or who aren't interested don't have to participate, and those who are can. And it's free, unlike a shrink.

One of my ex-on-off girlfriends had terrible problems with depression, long before I met her, and not as much after, thankfully, but it was always extremely difficult for me to fathom what the problem was, as whenever she described it, none of it sounded that bad (to me). Eventually I met her dad, and part of it at least was then explained, as he was a bit of a nut-job, and was (psychologically) bullying her in private (they all worked on a family business). He didn't really like me - not because I was hostile, but as I was clearly smart and 'together', and was easily capable of seeing through his bullshit and conveying that to her, which I did.

We didn't become a real item as we lived hundreds of miles apart, and I couldn't have coped with the stress of her losing it regularly anyway - going out with someone to try and keep them sane isn't sufficient justification, all things considered. But she never sorted it out, and eventually committed suicide, which was a ridiculous waste of a life and a large talent. And I'm sure it ruined the rest of her parents' lives too, but hey-ho, they had their chance. Even now, nearly twenty years later, apart from her dad being a twat, I can't see what the real problem was, other than total 'ennui'.

I've never really had any issues with my parents though, and grew up poor, working-class and Catholic, so maybe that's it? Getting 'IRA' chalked on your school blazer back in Jubilee year by the local proddy schoolkids can be character-building. They didn't have no web forums then - I had to go fishing  ;)

Offline royfellows

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2021, 05:40:02 pm »
Maybe still on my own website somewhere, I advise dumping facebook and signing up to a hobby website like UKC. I think our kindred spirit makes us more tolerant to each other. I expected the BREXIT thread to go up in flames, but it didn't.
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Offline cavemanmike

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Re: The Black Dog - mental health awareness
« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2021, 12:16:44 am »
Disassociation is the best way to vent something. You don't know them, they don't know you so there is less judgement


 

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